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Hometown: Atlanta, GA
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ATLANTA YOUNG SINGERS of Callanwolde (AYS), based at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in DeKalb County, Georgia, is Atlanta’s premier choir for children and youth. With the cooperation of dedicated community leaders, schoolteachers, arts professionals and Stephen J. Ortlip (Director for 23 years), AYS was founded in 1975 when the idea of boys and girls singing together in a community choir was rare in the U.S. Over thirty years later, AYS is Bringing Music to Life for children in metro Atlanta and audiences worldwide.

Under Music Director Paige F. Mathis (also an alumna), AYS is more than a simple choral program – it provides a diverse and challenging learning environment that inspires intelligent thought, music literacy, artistic creativity, and personal growth. AYS Singers come from over 85 public/private school environments covering a 50-mile radius of Atlanta. Currently, 200 children ages 7-18 (2nd –12th grade) are accepted each year into one of 7 AYS choirs where they: Serve the community through free performances, outreach workshops, and volunteer activities; Grow and develop life skills such as cooperation, dedication, self-confidence, commitment, discipline, pride in performance, and mentoring; Learn musical skills through study, rehearsals, music theory instruction, performances, regional and international tours, and camps; and Sing in cooperation with other children to create music of highest artistic quality.

During the last quarter century, ATLANTA YOUNG SINGERS of Callanwolde has reflected the high artistic capabilities of the young singer through performances with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and at numerous events sponsored by nationally recognized organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the American Choral Directors Association. The Choir has traveled extensively, singing in all the cultural capitals of North America and Europe and winning invitations to the most prestigious choral festivals in the world, such as the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in Wales, International Choral Kathaumixw in British Columbia, Tuscany International Children’s Choir Festival in Italy, and Amsterdam’s Koorfest at The Hague (AYS won first place awards). In June of 1999, AYS placed first in Contemporary and second in Folk Music at the Golden Gate Children’s Choral Festival in California, earning a repeat Festival invitation in 2003. In Summer 2005, AYS won fourth place in the Children’s Chorus competition at the Festival Internacional de Música de Cantonigròs in Spain. In 2006, AYS traveled to Australia and New Zealand to perform in the Sydney Opera House. Recently, the Choir won a prestigious invitation as one of only 4 American choirs asked to participate in Festival500 Sharing the Voices in Newfoundland Summer 2007. In July 2008, the Treble Tour Choir will participate in the Pacific Rim Children’s Chorus Festival in Hawaii!

In May of 1998, Paige Fumbanks Mathis was named Music Director of ATLANTA YOUNG SINGERS of Callanwolde and the first holder of the Stephen J. Ortlip Chair. Ms. Mathis received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Jacksonville State University and earned a Masters of Music degree in conducting from the Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A frequent choral festival clinician and adjudicator, she founded the Youth Chorale in 1994 as an expansion of AYS. She is a long-standing member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus where she sang and recorded under the late Robert Shaw.

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